October has always been my favorite month of the year. It’s the epitome of fall. The leaves start changing color. The air is crisp. My birthday quickly approaches.

This year, all of that feels different.

I see the leaves changing colors and feel the cool air on my face, and I get sad that Alexander isn’t here to experience my favorite season. He’ll never stomp crunchy leaves underneath his feet. He’ll never feel the crisp fall air or sip on hot apple cider. He’ll never sit around a warm fire on a cool fall evening.

Today marks one hundred days since July 5. One. Hundred. Days. How is it that our last truly happy and carefree day was that long ago? Triple digits. Something about hitting 100 days feels heavy. That means that in just four short days it will have been one hundred days since we held our sweet baby boy in our arms. This coming Monday.

Next Tuesday is my thirty second birthday, and on that day it will have officially been more than one hundred days since I held my son Alexander in my arms. Getting another year older feels so awful when Alexander will never get a birthday. It feels weird and wrong to celebrate something that he’ll never get.

This is the kind of math that goes on in my head these days. I can tell you exactly how many days, weeks, and months it has been. Since July 5. Since July 9. How many days it’s been since we found out Alexander’s heart stopped beating. How many days it’s been since we held him. How many days it’s been since our whole world turned upside down and yet somehow remained eerily the same.

For the first time in my life, I’m not terribly excited about fall. I’m not running around celebrating the fact that it’s October–my favorite month. And I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about my birthday coming up. I should be enjoying fall walks and crunchy leaves and cool air with Alexander. I should be getting ready to celebrate my first birthday as part of a family of three–a family of three here on earth, and not a family of three where one person will always always be missing.

Losing Alexander seems so surreal some days–like some kind of distant memory that didn’t even really happen. And other days it still hits me like a ton of bricks. And some days I stand outside in the cool fall air and just wish more than anything that all of this was different.

I can’t believe it’s been one hundred days.

I can’t believe the seasons are changing and that Alexander isn’t here.

I can’t believe my birthday is coming and that my own son will never get to taste his own birthday cake.

I can’t believe I’ve spent the month of October planning and participating in memorial services for my son who never got a chance to breathe the fall air or experience the changing of seasons.

One hundred days. Triple digits. Changing seasons.

One hundred days of missing and loving my sweet Alexander.

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